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Beacon apartments gets new community garden

A community garden is being established at Beacon Apartments in Nicholasville Friday. Located at 256 Blueberry Lane, Beacon Apartments joined with the Jessamine County Extension Office, Kentucky AgrAbility and the Bluegrass Community Action Partnership to make this project possible.

Sara Clark, former community developer for Bluegrass Community Action in Jessamine County, said Beacon Apartments is a community for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. She said that has provided creative ways for the residents to enjoy gardening.

“The Jessamine County Extension Office was able to purchase gardening tables and soil for the gardens,” Clark said. “There will be 12 table plots that will allow residents to sit in a chair or wheelchair and garden comfortably. Many of the residents have a disability that prevents them from traditional gardening. By partnering with KY AgrAbility, we have been able to create a comfortable gardening experience for the residents allowing them to be part of an activity that they may not have done in years.”

Clark said the garden will be maintained by the residents at Beacon Apartments with help from Bluegrass Community Action.

The residents will have access to the fruits and vegetables with the option to sell them at a nearby farmers market.

Clark said she plans the garden to help others outside of Beacon Apartments as well.

“Any surplus that cannot be used by the gardener will be donated to other residents in need or another organization that would give the food to those that have a hard time affording or accessing fresh vegetables and fruits,” Clark said.

However, the garden is more than just a source of fresh food, it is an educational project.

“We are planning classes throughout the life of the garden,” Clark said. “This year we have already held classes on garden sustainability, safe gardening practices, and are in the process of holding cooking classes. These classes will continue to be held in the future years too.”

Because it is late in the growing season, Clark said fall plants like radishes, lettuce, spinach and herbs will be grown. While the garden will not be certified organic, Clark said as few chemicals will be used as possible.

While the garden is for Beacon Apartments, Clark said she knows there are many others in Jessamine County that could also benefit from a garden.

“This has been a great experience and while these residents will be able to access fresh fruits/vegetables there are still many people in Jessamine County that cannot,” Clark said. “Building another garden is a project Bluegrass Community Action would gladly take on.”